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Curr Opin Crit Care. 2013 Feb;19(1):1-8. doi: 10.1097/MCC.0b013e32835c34a5.

Noninvasive ventilation: practical advice.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Universit√† Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Agostino Gemelli Hospital, Rome, Italy.



This critical review discusses the key points that would be of practical help for the clinician who applies noninvasive ventilation (NIV) for treatment of patients with acute respiratory failure (ARF).


In recent years, the growing role of NIV in the acute care setting has led to the development of technical innovations to overcome the problems related to gas leakage and dead space. A considerable amount of research has been conducted to improve the quality of the devices as well as optimize ventilation modes used to administer NIV. As a result, also mechanical ventilators have been implemented with modalities aimed at delivering NIV.


The success of NIV in patients with ARF depends on several factors, including the skills of the clinician, selection of patient, choice of interface, selection of ventilation mode and ventilator setting, monitoring, and the motivation of the patient. Recent advances in the understanding of the physiological aspects of using NIV through different interfaces and ventilator settings have led to improve patient-machine interaction, enhancing favorable NIV outcome.

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